Facebook Exchange now letting partners use AdChoices icon

February 04, 2013  |  Alicia Androich  |  Comments

Facebook is about to become more transparent by joining the movement to remind consumers that advertisers are following them online.

Facebook will allow third parties that serve behavioural-based ads through its Facebook Exchange (FBX) to display the AdChoices icon in their ads.

The small blue triangular icon, which is affiliated with the “Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising” created by the U.S.-based Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), is used by many members of the DAA’s program. A similar program is in the works for Canada and expected to be released in April.

By clicking on the AdChoices icon, consumers are given information about the practice of online behavioural advertising (OBA) – when web browsing activity is captured over time and used to tailor ads to the user’s inferred interests – and provided with the option to opt out of such ads.

Until now, Facebook had been notably absent from the list of industry members that belong to the DAA program in the U.S. Facebook said it wouldn’t participate in the program since it doesn’t show ads that are targeted based on users’ behaviour across websites over time.

Facebook’s decision applies to FBX’s partners internationally. The company’s director of product marketing, Brian Boland, said that users had already been able to opt out of seeing ads served by FBX partners, but that this new decision to give advertisers the ability to implement the AdChoices icon “provides another option; another mechanism of control. The more transparency and control we can provide, the better the experience for both advertisers and users.”

In a statement released Monday, the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program – which is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, and enforces the DAA’s OBA principles – said that with Facebook’s FBX partners now able to use the AdChoices icon to provide consumers with transparency and choice, Facebook “will ensure compliance by those partners with the OBA Principles’ enhanced notice requirement when those partners engage in interest-based advertising on the Facebook platform.”

Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, said in a statement that Facebook works hard to “build transparency and control into each of our products, including our advertising offerings.” She added that this new option for marketers is another way for them to communicate privacy information to users through FBX.
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